Friday, December 10, 2010

Nepal: Friday cat blogging

When the women on our trip learned that I wanted to take pictures of any cats we saw, they very helpfully pointed felines out.

1Swayambhunath cat.jpg
This placid beast sat calmly right in the middle of the Swayambhunath holy site in Kathmandu, undisturbed by gangs of free ranging monkeys (I'll put pics of them up one day) or hordes of pilgrims and tourists.

2khunde-intent on something.jpg
High up in the mountains in Kunde, this cat had urgent business that didn't include posing for tourists. Perhaps dinner had come into view?

3hotel cat at window.jpg
The real trove of domesticated cats inhabited our hotel and its garden. This one met me in the stairwell on the way to my room.

4hotel cat meets new friend.jpg
This one treated every new guest as a new friend.

5mother and kittens3.jpg
Yikes -- the cat population at the Nirvana is mushrooming.

But by far the most fascinating cat incident we experienced was the one I couldn't photograph. We were sitting quietly and respectfully on the sides of Tengboche Monastery while the monks graciously permitted us to watch them at their evening prayers. No camera flashes were allowed and the light was terrible. Suddenly, out of the shadows: "Meooooow!" The cat's hungry calls (I know those noises; I live with them) only got more insistent. The monks shifted on their benches and chanted on. The cat mounted what I'd call the abbott's chair and really let loose: "Meooooow! Meooooow! Meooooow!" Finally the chanting ended and a monk scooped up the noise maker.

Here's the best shot I got of the intruder. I call it "ghost cat." In reality, she was fully substantial.
6ghost cat.jpg

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